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Nadesłane przez: ninagorman dnia 26-05-2022 13:41
Religion is one of the basic needs to most human beings. Everyone has to believe in something referring to it as God. However, people have various religious believes. The Christians believe in the Christ and that one will not see God without believing in Jesus Christ, who is the son of God. They believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God to save the human kind from the sinful nature and whoever believes in him shall see God, who is their father (Corlet, 2003).
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under Article 18, it is provided that every human being has a right to chose the religion he or she wants to believe in as an individual. One possesses a right of deciding whom to worship, the time and place of worshiping his or her God. There are also other constitutions and international declarations that provide that everyone has a right to practice his or her religious believes in the world (Corlet, 2003). The United States Constitution provides that no law should be made concerning establishing a religion or denying people the right to assemble for their purpose of worship.
According to the history of America, colonies appeared in the country in the late 1770s. They then crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the 17th century and freely practiced their religion. (O’Kane, 2013).
The efforts of the founders of the American nation to define the role of religious faith in the public life and the degree to which it could be supported by public officials, who were inconsistent with the revolutionary imperatives of the equality and freedom of all citizens, is the central question, which this paper explores. Survival of the United States required a more powerful central government. On September 17, 1987, the United States Constitution was adopted through at a convection, which took place in Philadelphia. Article six of the constitution provided that no religious test would be allowed to serve as a qualification for federal officers. The adopted constitution did not focus much on religion (Krieger & Meierrieks, 2011).
The adopted constitution divided people into two groups. One of them was interested in the new tools of the government to offer faith a larger position while the other one did not want to make it legal for the kind of state supported religion that had nourished in some colonies. This group exerted pressure on the members of the First Federal Congress. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provided that the parliament shall not make a law on establishment of any religion or Congress shall not make any law respecting a religion establishment or eliminating the freedom to practice any religion or the freedom of speech and the press. During the year 1935, the Michigan legislature adopted a church-state separation amendment to their constitution.
The Michigan legislature was the first to practice such an action by then and it became a state that retained similar restrictions later. Nineteen states adopted the same laws before Blaine proposed his Constitutional Amendment in December1875. The Roman Catholic bishop of New York City started lobbying for government funding of the Catholic schools in the city, which led to debates that lasted until 1894. This was when the New York City adopted a constitutional language, making it unlawful for the state to fund sectarian schools. The Ohio Supreme Court prohibited Bible reading for the Protestants in public schools within the state, stating that it was sectarian. Cincinnati school board resolution made in 1869 religious instructions in the City’s public schools illegal (O’Kane, 2013).
According to the First Amendment of the United States of America Constitution, all Americans are guaranteed freedom of practicing their religious believes for both people of faiths and those with no faith. The Free Exercise Clause and laws, such as the centralized Religious Freedom Restoration Act, provided that religious people should be allowed to freely practice their faith (Corlet, 2003). Under this Clause, which is today interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States, the state may not enforce laws or regulations that are aimed at interfering with religious practices without signifying a government’s interest and preventive means of achieving that interest.
When laws or policies apply to all people and do not target religious practices, but at the same time burden those practices, the state is not obliged to justify such weights with a persuasive interest. The Supreme Court of America has also made it clear that government may opt to provide religious freedom with greater defense; this authority is regularly exercised (Commons & Goodheart, 2007). These rights of religious liberty for all American citizens provided in the constitution are favorable for both religion and the government.
Religious Practices in America Today
Today, in the United States of America live the most religious people among the whole world. Religious freedom, which is provided by the First Amendment, enables citizens of all faiths to live peacefully and equally with non-believers. The First Amendment provides that everyone has a right to exercise his or her faith and to be absolutely free from the religion establishments imposed by the government. These rights cannot be rejected by either elections or majority vote (Mazarr, 2007).
The Rights and Responsibilities of Religious People in America
The government of America tends to protect the rights of religious institutions and citizens to exercise their faiths in open places freely with no interference from the government unless the exercise is likely to harm other citizens. However, the American government may not induce adherence to the exercise of any of the faiths. Being a good citizen means taking the civic responsibility to support religious liberty for all people. Religious freedom rights can be guaranteed only when all individuals and groups take responsibilities to protect both their own rights and those of others.
The respect for other people’s rights regardless of moral disagreement is a civic virtue that is very important to provide peace in a society that is religiously diverse. Every faith has freedom to proclaim their visions of what the truth is, but they cannot ask the state for assistance in practicing so. Every faith is a religious alternative that has its place in the United States of America (Corlet, 2003).
The Relationship between the American Laws and the Religious Laws
Neither state nor federal governments is allowed to impose religious law and this can be applied to legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies and it is an absolutely understood and obeyed law. Courts are not supposed to apply religious laws in making decisions in cases of divorce, child custody etc. When making decisions concerning a certain governmental rule that violates the free practice of religion, courts should refrain from making decisions on whether the parties before them well understand their faith (Mazarr, 2007).
Enforcement of the Religious Tribunal Decisions
The United States of America enforces decisions of religious tribunals when the parties willingly and intentionally present the issue to the authority of religious tribunals. In this case, the tribunal provides certain minimum technical safeguards, which cannot conflict with the central public policies. An agreement as such does not need a secular court to make a firm decision on theological questions (Combs, 2003). For many years, courts in American established many of the decisions regarding religious or any other nongovernmental tribunal, for example the Jewish Bait Din. These tribunals concern those parties that come before them freely and at all times review the violations of central public policies.
Secular courts encouraged religious leaders to refer domestic disputes concerning the governance, theology and recruiting of clergy to a religious tribunal since courts are not allowed to interpret religious laws, which such disputes are usually based on. According to Jongman,
Jewish and Christian as well as Muslim communities have long had such tribunals in the United States, and individuals and organizations have the freedom to choose to submit their disputes to these religious bodies for resolution. Government courts often, but not always, confirm decisions of these tribunals so long as they adequately respect constitutional boundaries and protect the rights of all parties. (2005)
The Friction between Religions in America
Within the last 25 years, Muslims have become the main non-Christian religious group in Canada and the United States because of such factors as immigration, higher birth rates, and conversion. When reading the Qur’an, the Christians would learn very familiar passages that identify such Bible family characters as Abraham, David, Solomon, Jesus and his disciples, creating a link to share the meaning of the Bible’s stories. Christians, as any other religious group who wish to understand their Muslim colleagues, should interact with Muslims, and see the world through their eyes.
The Islamic religion and Christianity differ from each other in a several ways, and so their traditions tend to differ from each other, creating pressure among the religious groups. The Qur’an teaches Muslims to fight non-Muslims, including Christians; thus, it creates much fear between the two. This has resulted in the religious wars in the countries with both religions, which created three main differences between Christianity and Muslim’s religion Islam (Commons & Goodheart, 2007).
Online Radicalization and Religious Extremism
Online radicalization is an attempt to provide violent extremism with the help of the Internet through pleading online with individuals or groups who are susceptible. One of the results of online radicalization is The Boston Marathon bombings and the message extremists tried to convey. In utilizing the Internet, violent extremism does not differ much from other online crimes, such as online child sex offending, online fraud or even the distribution of drugs, which are sinful acts according many religions. For example, the Muslims in the United States of America have grappled with the results of extremism that happened in 2001. The acts of 19 men associated with al Qaeda ushered in a new era, and now people put all the blame on the followers of Islam whenever a terrorist attack takes place.
Five men from Northern Virginia at the age of 18 to 24 were imprisoned for ten years in 2009. Their mission was to go to Afghanistan, where they needed to join the Al Qaeda. Being American citizens from Pakistani, and also from Arab and African countries, the five men displayed few outward symbols of radicalization. In the year before their arrest, the five had become much engaged in online jihad in terms of producing and distributing on YouTube video clips about extremist meetings. In August 2009, a Taliban recruiter who had seen their videos and claimed that he could assist in traveling to Afghanistan contacted those men.
Major Nidal Hasan, a 39-year-old man, went on a shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas, United States in November 2009. As a result, he killed 13 people and left 29 wounded in the most overwhelming terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001. Hasan appeared to be radicalized for a rather long time. His extremist views first drew FBI’s attention in 2003, during his residency at Walter Reed hospital, and subsequently encouraged several investigations. Hasan is believed to have had no public associations with violent extremists but made much use of the Internet.
Between December 2008 and June 2009, he is believed to have sent 20 e-mails to Anwar Al Awake, sharing his ideas, expressing his admiration, and, importantly, looking for permission to make an attack. Awlaki, who appeared to respond to two of Hasan’s e-mails, was later described as a “virtual spiritual sanctioner” in the reports. Moghaddam (2007) provides a more complicated ‘multi-causal approach’ to perceptive suicide terrorism, the one that implies the pathway metaphor in the comparison of a narrowing “staircase to terrorism”. This entails three levels: the individual, organizational and environmental.
The current time is unique. For the first time in the history of Jihadist, provision of extremists is made of former militants who rebelled not only against the current jihadists’ behavior but also against the ideology that motivates them. Their message to the younger generations of potential sympathizers and recruits is quite powerful: “we were the pioneers of Jihadist and the authors of a large part of its literature. Here are our experiences and here is what went wrong” (Krieger & Meierrieks, 2011). In addition, due to the behavior of violent extremists, credible messengers have emerged to speak out against the violent behavior and the ideologies promoting it. Those messengers include independent and respectable former officials, religious clerics, academic scholars, and civil society organizations.
According to the Terrorism Act 2000, section 1, radicalization can lead to terrorism. Under the Equality Act, FE and HE institutions posses legal statutory responsibilities to promote equality and diversity and provide a learning experience that is free from prejudice, discrimination and harassment. In implementing it, institutions have to bear in mind that religion and belief, as well as race, are protected under the law and must not cause a disruption with anyone’s right to be treated fairly. Articles 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act provide that everyone enjoys the right to have freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and freedom of expression.
National Strategy for Counterterrorism
Under the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, the government has redoubled its efforts to reduce the significance of the al-Qaeda communication while addressing particularly contributions of violence that al-Qaeda exploits to hire and encourage the upcoming generations of terrorists. The government has also expanded its focus on the strategy to get specifically those approaches that will counter Al-Qaeda affiliates and adherents on the periphery.
Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremisms
This strategy is used by the government to invest in brainpower in order to understand all the risks and ensure community involvement through the development programs that would authorize local communities. The strategy will clearly communicate the country’s policies and intentions, paying attention to local concerns, creating regulations to address regional concerns, and making clear that the country’s diversity is a part of its strength and not an origination of division or insecurity (Koppelman, 2013).
Strategic Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremisms
The government is aiming at preventing all forms of extremism that contributes to violence, regardless of who inspires it. At the same time, countering al-Qaeda’s violent ideology is among the country’s strategies of defeating al-Qaeda. The government has strengthened homeland security and enhanced information sharing.
According to the above explanations, religious believes in America have evolved from one stage to another. The American laws and the amendments to United States Constitution have really helped the American citizens freely practice their religions. Various forms of religion in America, such as the Christianity, are divided into various denominations. However, the American government faces challenges concerning the religious believes, such as frictions between the two main religions of Christianity and Muslim religion and various forms of radicalization. The government of America have been able to solve the conflicts between the religions by setting strategies under three documents which are: National Strategy for Counterterrorism, Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremisms and Strategic Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremisms.
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Commons, M.L, & Goodheart, E. A. (2007). Consider stages of development in preventing terrorism: Does government building fail and terrorism result when developmental stages of governance skipped. Journal of Adult Development, 14(3-4), 91-111.
Corlett, J.A. (2003). Terrorism: A philosophical analysis. Philadelphia, P.A: Springer.
Jongman, A. J. (2005). Political terrorism: a new guide to actors, authors, concepts, data bases, theories, and literature. Piscataway, N.J: Transactions Books.
Koppel man, A. (2013). Defending American religious neutrality Cambridge University, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Krieger, T., & Meierrieks, D. (2011). What causes terrorism? Public choice, 147(1-2), 3-27.
Mazarr, M. J. (2007). Unmodern men in the modern world: Radical Islam, terrorism, and the war on modernity. Cambridge University Press.
O’Kane, R.H.T. (2013). Terrorism. Florence, KY: Taylor &Francis.